Freedom, is a triggering topic for lots of people, predominantly Black people. Hundreds of years ago when foreigners showed up on our shores and borders. The history of the world cannot be scripted enough without colonization playing an integral role. Colonization might be hundreds of years old but slavery as a whole has been there as far back as biblical days. People’s wealth could be determined by the number of slaves they owned. Slaves are usually from minority races and whereas expected to do the bidding of their owners have no say or opinion in anything that mattered. Black as race might have likely been considered a minority race and that is why colonization has been such a huge part of our history and if dare says our co-existence. The dark continent was invaded by external forces who had at the time been more put together than us and had superior weapons. This is not to say that other non-African weren’t invaded too, America as a country are invaders on the very land they own. They are migrants from Europe who settled there and overpowered the previous settlers, the Native Americans. Other non-African countries like Brazil, Mexico, etc have either had to move away to get freedom or been previously colonized. Major players in colonization were the British, French, German, Portuguese, Belgian, Chinese, Russians, etc, have all moved out of their lands and colonized others. African countries were majorly taken by British and French forces which brings about the classification of Anglophonic (English-speaking and colonized) countries and Franco-phonic (French-speaking and colonized countries). Anglophonic countries like Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, etc, and Franco-phonic counties like Niger Republic, Benin, Chad, Ivory Coast, etc. A major to never been colonized in Africa is Ethiopia.

Freedom from colonization has never been easy. Freedom examples in the Bible could be when the People of Israel left the shackles of their oppressors in Egypt. But wouldn’t cite Biblical instances but rather more recent examples like Nigeria’s independence. After this part of Africa was invaded and there was the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern parts which be known as the Nigerian colony, people were more educated and enlightened even in the white man’s ways, and was just a matter of time before they would want to be free and govern themselves. The Nigerian resources discovered played a role in the colonization scheme but even Nigerians wanted to have it all to themselves and after years of pushing for it, we were finally given independence on the 1st of October 1960. That is Nigeria’s history but in the America and European countries where they had shipped millions of slaves throughout their colonization days. Slaves to work on their cotton plantations, tobacco farms, large ranches, manufacturing industries, and every menial household could force them to do. After over 400 years of this slavery, with some little resistance here and there, some Blacks gave up their freedom, it was a breakthrough when slavery was finally abolished and everybody set free. But didn’t stop discrimination and racism, as there were infrastructures Blacks weren’t allowed into or be a part of. Even after abolishing slavery, there were building with signs like ‘no blacks allowed’ or ‘colored is not allowed’, plastered on the entrances of white-owned buildings or organizations. Lots of white people still believe in white supremacy forgetting that they were the ones who took this same person from their lands, took away their freedom, and reduced them to slaves. So after milking them for hundreds of years, you still discriminate and hate them because they spoke up and fought for equal rights. 

Great legends have fought for freedom from oppression like Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Sir Herbert Macaulay, Tafawa Balewa, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, etc are Nigerian heroes who fought for freedom. American heroes like Malcolm X, Dr. Martin Luther King jr, Maya Angelou, etc, are people who never let the white man oppress them and spoke out against racism and discrimination against Black People. Even though racism has been subdued over the years as people don’t want to be labeled racists, there have been glimpses of the old side resurfacing. As a black person carrying a black country‘s passport and traveling into a white country, you might be subjected to be treated more suspiciously and possibly be over-searched than normal. You tend to be treated as if you are in the country illegally. White people who lived during the time of slavery tend to still believe in white supremacy and that white and black shouldn’t have equal rights. These ideas and values are often passed to their offspring who could grow to treat the black race as inferior and when most are in places of power use it to suppress their black counterpart. There has been an alarm of white police officers shouting, discriminating, arresting, and assaulting black people. As much as black isn’t the only race that is oppressed, the world is mainly divided into those two races. 

There are so many types of other freedom, but post-colonialism and slavery, kidnapping has become the new wave of crimes on the rise. Terrorism has come into the scene for some years now and Nigeria’s north eastern areas has become a hotspot for terrorism. When terrorism is heard, what majorly comes to mind is bombing, robbery, suicidal bombing, and lots of shootings but over the years terrorism groups have become specialties in snatch and grab also known as kidnapping. They initially targeted important people in the government and the society at large but they now kidnap anybody they feel like taking. Boko Haram is the major terrorist group in Nigeria and surrounding West African countries like Niger, Benin, Chad, etc. They have continually hurt the countries, especially Nigeria's North Eastern states and this has resulted in the Federal Government year ago declaring a state of emergency in three states, Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe state. This was to curb the activities of the deadly group, who on the 13th of April 2014 invaded an all-girls school in Chibok, Borno state, and took over 100 school girls into the Sambisa Forest. Despite efforts by the Nigerian Army and other forces, the total number of girls has not been recovered to the present day, although there have been patches of a few different girls released at separate times. Soon after that the dreaded group struck another all-girls in Dapchi still within the same state and kidnapped another substantial amount of girls from the government-owned school. But in this case, the girls were recovered in a larger quantity with rumors that the FG was involved in paying ransom for the girls. But a particular case stood out, a school girl named Leah Shaibu who wasn’t released because she refused to denounce her faith, our hearts goes out to Leah and her parents. Soon terrorism wasn’t all about bombing or so, but they got more joy in kidnapping and some cases even killing their victim. 

Another freedom-depriving group is those labeled as armed herdsmen who initially started by attacking farm owners who tried to tackle them over the damages their cattle do to their farms. Soon the herdsmen become a thorn to people from the north to south and even parts of the east too, these men began to kidnap people who offended them and in most cases kill their victims even in times they collect the ransom. To date, the police and task force have had a hard time combating this evil set of people who were well intimate with the forest and jungle as that was their habitat. The East also has its share of bad eggs and has the now labeled terrorist of ESN fighting for the actualization of the Biafra country like in 1967 to 1970 when there was also a civil war in the country. This group can be very deadly as they are very hard to identify members as they are well blended. They are known to kidnap mostly notable people in the community and more recently a lawmaker who was later beheaded by the deadly group. 

Prison is also another place that derives freedom, note that not everyone in jails and prison cells is guilty. In a declining judiciary like that of Nigeria, over 60% of prisoners are either never tried or have been awaiting the completion of a trial for years. There are has also been shameful cases of people who kept their richer and more influential people for the most flimsy issues. Most times the new government has to clear the already overcrowded prison cells as most of the people there aren’t supposed to be there at all. Prisons aren’t mostly conducive and the inmates are most treated like less human beings, which is very common in a lot of countries' prisons, not just Nigeria’s. 

The lack of freedom has had majorly negative effects on people as lots of people of minority races think they are less than others. Even some people of the Black race feel they are inferior to others which is a wrong mindset. Kidnap victims also suffer psychological trauma from the experience which could affect them for life also. People who spend a long time in confinement often have to re-evaluate and pass through therapy before they are released back into society. Most times they still have flashes of the past and they mostly become cluster phobic, which means they tend to get panic attacks when in tight places. People can lose money, property, and most importantly their lives in the process. 

In all this, the need for freedom cannot be stressed enough, whether is a fundamental freedom, like the freedom to live, speech, movement, belief, and the rest of them. It is also a serious crime to deny people these rights. Even though we might have left the era of slavery, there is lots of modern slavery in parts of the world that might never be eradicated but as a people, we must try our best to alleviate as many people as possible and to make sure this perpetrators and racist are combated, arrested and tried so they can serve for their crime. Nobody wants to be deprived of their freedom so always consider the trauma that the person might likely feel as a result of that experience. Do not engage in crimes because prison isn’t fun at all and the likeliness of coming out unscarred is very slim. From stay safe and tuned in...

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